E3 Archive

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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare announced for Xbox One

Electronic Arts today announced a new title in its Plants vs. Zombies franchise to be released on the Xbox One. Revealed during the publisher’s E3 media briefing, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will also see an Xbox 360 release at some point following the Xbox One version’s release. A press release issued by EA following the publisher’s media briefing confirmed a spring 2014 release date for Garden Warfare. The game is being developed by PopCap Games using the Frostbite 3 engine.

EA played the game live during the media briefing, showcasing plants fighting off hordes of zombies in a multiplayer setting. The gameplay was more akin to Gears of Wars’ horde mode than to traditional tower-defense Plants vs. Zombies gameplay. Units shown included a cactus sniper and a flying onion that appeared to be the PopCap’s plant take on a military drone.

According to the press release, Garden Warfare will feature 4-player co-op as well as 24-player competitive multiplayer.

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Minecraft: Xbox One Edition announced

Minecraft will make the jump to the next generation as an Xbox One release, Microsoft announced today at its E3 media briefing. Microsoft Studios Corporate Vice President Phil Spencer made the announcement, promising that Minecraft: Xbox One Edition will have bigger worlds and multiplayer” than does its Xbox 360 predecessor.

That predecessor, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, is the most successful game to ever release on Microsoft’s XBLA platform. It has sold in excess of six million copies and been played for over one billion hours since its release in May of 2012.

The Xbox One will release this November. No specific date for Minecraft: Xbox One Edition‘s arrival on the system has been announced.

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Xbox One releasing this November for $499

Xbox One $499

Microsoft will release its next-generation game console, the Xbox One, this November for $500 in North America, the console holder announced today during its E3 media briefing in Los Angeles. The console will also launch in the UK and the remainder of Europe during November, where it will be priced at £430 and €500, respectively. All told, Xbox One will release simultaneously in 21 different markets.

A Day One Edition of the console is currently available for preorder at retailers such as Amazon. A limited edition controller, code to unlock a Day One achievement, premium packaging and a decal are included in the Day One Edition.

Last week it was revealed that Twisted Pixel’s LocoCycle will be an Xbox One launch title.

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Capy Games’ Below announced for Xbox One

Below Xbox One

Capy Games, the studio behind XBLA’s in-development Super Time Force, is developing a new game called Below for the Xbox One, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer announced today at Microsoft’s E3 press conference. Spencer described the game as a roguelike full of secrets.

Jim Gunthrie was revealed to be Below‘s composer. Gunthrie also handled composition duties on Capy Games’ Superbrothers: Swords and Sorcery.

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Trampled under foot: Ascend: New Gods preview

Ascend: New Gods is an action game. The fact that players take control of gigantic warriors known as Caos that mow through hordes of beasts with magic and melee weapons while trampling the tiny, feeble humans under their feet as a man might a rodent, informs those who pick up the controller of as much. The fact that these towering, stout champions appear before the seemingly indomitable Titans of the game as not but rodents themselves, betrays that there may just be something more to Signal Studios’ game than the repeated mashing of a face button that could effectively get one through the title’s E3 demo.

Although Signal promises that more challenging enemies will turn up later in the game, the demo, while enjoyable, left one wanting to see what other tricks the studio has up its sleeve. Most of the encounters could be won by relying on basic attacks, the repeated swinging of a sword or war hammer until the foe(s) before the Caos were felled. Getting beyond the basic “press X to kill stuff” approach to battles is something that all developers of action games must work to overcome if they are to differentiate their work from that of the competition.

Signal has plans for that. A unique form of multiplayer (more on that shortly) and a slew of challenging beasts that may require a bit more cunning to overcome. “We have tons of different monsters in the game,” Signal Studios Lead Game Designer Ian Scott explained to XBLA Fans at E3. “As you saw, the humans are really small in our game; they’re kind of like rats. You can pick them up and eat them for health, but there’s obviously things that are a lot bigger than you and more badass. Well, I don’t know about necessarily more badass than you.” Scott isn’t sure whether or not the team wants individual non-Titan enemies to be tougher than a Caos, but he asserted that there are definitely enemies that can dole out a walloping.

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E3 Hands-on: Check out the speed-spidering antics in Alien Spidy

Speed running has been around for as long as games with beginnings and endings have. There are some people out there determined to rush through everything in a game, especially platformers, as quickly as possible. Well Alien Spidy takes speed running, fleshes it out a bit, and presents platformer enthusiasts with a skill-based platformer designed to be played at mach speed.

In Alien Spidy, you play as Spidy (imagine that) as he rushes to find the remains of his ship on Earth. He ventured from his home planet to find a friend of his who didn’t return, and ended up crashing on our humble planet. The story is really a mcguffin to get you crawling around this 2D Earth, dodging all manner of hostile flora and fauna. The world is a scary place when you’re a spider. Read the rest of this entry »

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E3 jetpacks-on preview: Hybrid

It’s natural to have questions when playing a game for the first time. Questions like, “So this is Gears of War with jetpacks, right?” for instance. Or perhaps, “Is that guy shooting at me from the ceiling?” Maybe even, “What’s that sou — oh god, is that a cybernetic assassin?!” Gamers who partook in the beta for 5th Cell’s Hybrid already know the answers to those questions. For the uninitiated: no, yes, a cybernetic assassin and see: previous answer.

When a studio that is known and loved for creating a specific type of game — those in the Drawn to Life and Scribblenauts vein, in this case — announces it’s taking that brave leap of faith from the comforts of its nest to attempt a flight towards previously uncharted territory, there can be some trepidation among gamers, perhaps some skepticism, even. Take just one look at 5th Cell’s Summer of Arcade third-person shooter and it’s plain that it is one such departure. Five matches in a noisy convention hall (seriously, Activision, did Black Ops II have to be that loud?) is a sample size too small to categorically abandon all concerns over whether or not the studio has the chops to pull this thing off. However, it is large enough to glean that Hybrid has all the makings of the next XBLA shooter that will keep gamers up until the wee hours of the morning on many occasions. Now might be a good time to start banking up that sick leave at work.

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E3 Hands-on: Double Dragon Neon is a vibrant mix of old and new

When I told Pete Rosky, Assistant Product Manager at Majesco and curator of my Double Dragon Neon demo, that I had never played a Double Dragon game he said “Great! I’ll tell you as little about the game as possible then.” Confused and incredulous, I asked why. “I’ve never gotten to do this presentation with someone who hasn’t played a Double Dragon game before, it’s a whole new perspective.” Knowing then what I know now, I would have understood that Double Dragon Neon is an “old soul” of a brawler, living a life in the present with a staunch respect for the past.

Apparently, Double Dragon is kind of a big deal amongst brawler fans, so excuse me for those of you that I’ve offended by having not played the game. If it makes you feel better, I played this one and liked it. Double Dragon Neon is slow paced (which isn’t a bad thing, mind you) and all the character models are huge and for all the brawlers I’ve played this felt different. It’s a brawler that feels old, but looks new. I marveled at the eye-popping visuals and smooth animations, but the gameplay was nothing like the brawlers of today (because apparently it’s like the brawlers of yesteryear).

Just like Majesco did for my demo, prepare for a preview from a different perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

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E3 Preview: What’s a Bellator and why is it so fun?

Have you ever had a friend that just doesn’t seem to get it? No matter how many times he’s informed that you’re just not into a band, a sport or some other such thing he just keeps on dragging you out to experience it. He can only be denied so many times before you reach the end of your Seinfeldian Excuse Rolodex and bite the bullet. So it is with MMA and one of my closest friends. Despite maintaining a serious passion for a number of sports, MMA excites me about as much as the prospect of playing Superman 64.

It’s of little surprise, then, that enthusiasm was low while trekking across the convention hall en route for an appointment to play 345 Games’ Bellator: MMA Onslaught. The nice folks at 345 ran through a quick overview of their fighting game and demoed a match in the blissfully peaceful office off the show floor. John noted how much better the visuals were than the last time he had seen the game. Then Matt McEnerney, senior producer at 345, and company showed off the game’s surprisingly deep RPG elements — character creation and progression. Once they were done tinkering, the fight was on. The more of the game that was shown, the more I suddenly found myself eager to give a try.

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View from the back — Dungeon Fighter Live: Fall of Hendon Myre

They’re crowding the front of the room on the 54th floor of a Los Angeles hotel, cameras flashing in rapid succession. A small group of men are before them, footage of their last work playing on a large screen. It’s difficult to get a good view of the promo vid that is running while all of the members of the Korean gaming press are nearly tripping over each other to secure the best possible angle from which to grab the perfect shot for their readers back home. The level of excitement among this crowd is palpable, if not completely understandable.

After all, what’s being shown at this point is nothing new, the footage is of 2010′s Dungeon Fighter Online (released in 2005 in Nexon’s home country of Korea). The speakers have thus far provided a nice little history lesson for the uninitiated, but those in attendance have hardly been treated to breaking news or exclusive footage at this point. With more exciting photo ops and demos of this fall’s hottest games vying for attention during E3 week than any one journalist can possibly tackle, why is the foreign press causing such a hullabaloo over a PC game that released seven years ago in their country?

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